First off, let me say that naming a beer, Hopsickle Imperial Ale is guaranteed to make me want one. The idea of a Popsicle made with a hoppy beer is one I fully support. Alas, this is no frozen desert, but it is a beer, and beer is good. Hooray for beer!
The Hopsickle Imperial Ale is brought to you by Moylan's Brewing Company in Novato, California. Let's open this sucker and see what's up ...
The beer is a beautiful translucent amber color with a light and creamy head that likes to stick around. As the head begins to sink, it leaves a thick coating on the inside of the glass. Aromas of tangerine, lemon and grapefruit coming screaming out the brew and jump right up my nose. Whoa! This thing smells like the citrus fruit section of a Florida farmer's market. The bottle claims this beer is, "triple hoppy," so I'm guessing we're going to encounter some extreme bitterness once we taste.
Okay, let's see what happens ...
Ahhhhhhhhh! Holy bitterness! The beer is more bitter than Brit Hume after hearing about the Obama victory. Jebus man! There's a serious punch of pine flavor and a strong amount of alcohol. This beer comes in at 9.2% ABV, and you can taste it. Unfortunately, there isn't enough malt sweetness to balance out this hop bomb. In fact, there's more mouth puckering going on here than anything else. The Hopsickle actually starts off smooth, but within a few seconds it goes straight to a tart bite in the mouth.
Well, just when I thought there wasn't much chance of me ever finding a hoppy beer I didn't like, here it is. I normally don't write about beers I don't care for, but I feel it's important to warn you about this one. Why this one, you ask? Because it was $9.50 for the 22oz. bottle! WTF?!!
Strangely enough, this beer has a "A-" rating on Beer Advocate. I just don't get it. Perhaps I've encountered a bad bottle, but at almost 10 bucks a pop, there shouldn't be any chance of getting a bad bottle. Damn!
Okay, if anyone has tried this and can tell me they found some malt character hiding in this beer, let me know. All I get is a bitter, astringent and disappointing beverage. I love hoppy beers that make you pucker, but this one lacks serious flavor.
Overall Score for the Moylan's Hopsickle Imperial Ale: 2.0 out 5.0